The man charged with killing six people and wounding 14 others in Tucson, Arizona last week once socialized online with a close-knit group of gamers, fans of online strategy game Earth Empires. His online interaction with that group has just been published in full.
Jared Lee Loughner allegedly used the handle "Dare" when posting on the Earth Empires forums. He chatted about game strategy, his life and personal issues, but also posted barely coherent messages about grammar, having sex with the mentally handicapped and his battles with authorities at his community college.
Loughner bounces from questions about how to crack the top 100 rankings in Earth Empires and buying and selling game stock, to subjects like suicide and rape. He was active on the game's forums from April to June 2010, posting in more than 100 threads, 30 of which he started himself.
Most users on the Earth Empires forums appear to dismiss Loughner's ramblings as those of a troll or under the influence of drugs. The tone of Loughner's posts on the forum indicate an individual openly struggling with his issues, becoming frustrated that they didn't seem to understand him.
"The more I read Dare's posts, the more I think he's just drunk/high when he posts," wrote one Earth Empires forum member in response to a "Dare"-created thread about school, prison and employment that devolved into a rant about train whistles.
"I have no substance abuse problems currently," Loughner responds, adding "Dude....I feel as if there is something wrong...." Throughout the forums, Loughner refutes accusations that he is using drugs.
The Earth Empires team released the forums posts publicly today "to provide proper context for many of the quotes that have been surfacing in the media in recent days." The FBI requested Loughner's communication records from the Earth Empires team earlier this week.
"As a community, we are absolutely horrified that someone who had been part of our relatively small group could be involved in such a horrible act," reads an official statement. "We're all shocked and saddened, and our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones. The majority of us had little to no interaction with Mr. Loughner during his time here, but he did play various incarnations of the game off and on since high school, according to several of his former clanmates."
The posts tied to Loughner feature some potentially offensive language and images. They are available to read at the game's official web site.
Update: Looks like Earth Empires' site is experiencing heavy traffic. Read a PDF version of the post dump here.
Jared Lee Loughner Posts [Earth Empires]